is a Choice: Winning the Battle Without Drugs
By A.B. Curtiss
Published by Hyperion Books
In our culture, it is taken as an unquestionable fact that depression
is a disease, that it is quite common, and that it is the explanation
for everything from lethargy to conditions and actions that are
much more serious. In her thoughtful and at times explosive new
book, A. B. Curtiss takes a look at these assumptions, exploring
them from a philosophical, psychological, and often a deeply personal
point of view. She tells us that for many, depression is a choice.
Using a technique the author labels "directed thinking,"
Curtiss creates a road map for converting the energy we put into
being depressed into a strength that can ultimately lead us out
someone who has suffered from depression herself, and who is also
a practicing psychotherapist, Curtiss is uniquely qualified to
pose these questions. For example, she asks whether, in the name
of depression, we excuse ourselves of responsibility in certain
areas of our lives. While acknowledging the seriousness of depression,
she asks whether at times we falsely classify what we are feeling
as depression, the disease, when in fact we are simply experiencing
the difficulties that are part and parcel of the human condition,
part of the process of living.
suggests that we are living in a culture that is deeply "psychologized,"
and that psychological terms and perspectives have become so imbedded
in who we are and how we categorize people and things that at
times we may rest on those categories, and therefore give up the
chance to overcome them, on our own.
takes the available research on depression and the brain, and
makes a convincing case that just as individuals who are depressed
reside in their depression -- to the point where it becomes their
focus -- that focus can be turned on its head and into a determination
to find our way out.
About the author:
A. B. Curtiss is a licensed family therapist and board-certified
cognitive behavioral therapist whose writing on depression and
other topics has appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune, The
New York Times, and The Boston Globe. She has published numerous
books, including the critically acclaimed Time of the Wild. She
lives in Escondido, California.